The Parrys International Wolves lost to the Panthers in last season’s play-off semi-finals – but eight months is a long time in speedway and on this occasion the Monmore side effectively won the meeting in a blistering opening spell.
Peter Adams’ men were clearly brimming with confidence from Monday’s impressive show against Sheffield, and they carried that straight into their clash with the faltering champions.
Skipper Sam Masters and Steve Worrall roared to a opening 5-1 over Scott Nicholls and Michael Palm Toft, and there was then a superb Heat 2 effort from Leon Flint to hold off the ever-present challenge of Benjamin Basso. Wolves’ dream start continued as Luke Becker bundled his way inside Ulrich Ostergaard to join Ryan Douglas for a 5-1 in Heat 3 – and although an outstanding Chris Harris gave the Panthers a race win by passing Nick Morris in the next, Masters and Worrall extended the lead to 14 points with another maximum in Heat 5.
A tape-breaking for Nicholls actually worked to the Panthers’ advantage in Heat 6 as Basso came in to join Palm Toft to trim the margin with a 5-1, and Harris kept Douglas at bay in the seventh.
But Worrall kept his fast-gating form going to defeat Nicholls in Heat 8 with Flint third, meaning Wolves took a 30-18 advantage into the second half of the meeting.
Harris took a tactical substitute ride in Heat 9 but Morris limited major damage with a battling effort to pass Hans Andersen for second place.
Worrall finally lost his unbeaten tag to the flying Harris in Heat 11, but Wolves were happily defending their advantage, and they did so again in a stunning Heat 12 when Becker found himself third, but rounded Hans Andersen and then moved inside Basso for a brilliant win.
Wolves’ victory was delayed by Palm Toft surging inside Morris for third place on the last bend of Heat 13 as Harris reeled off his fifth win, but Douglas confirmed it in the next as he won the re-run after an awkward turn one tangle.
And a shared race behind maximum man Harris in Heat 15 ensured all four league points for Wolves.
PETERBOROUGH 40: Chris Harris 18, Benajmin Basso 7, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Hans Andersen 3+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 3, Scott Nicholls 3, Jordan Jenkins 0.
WOLVERHAMPTON 50: Steve Worrall 11+2, Luke Becker 9+3, Sam Masters 9+1, Ryan Douglas 9+1, Leon Flint 6+1, Nick Morris 5, Drew Kemp 1.